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Prevention and Control

Knowing how to prevent and control the spread of STIs/HIV and unplanned pregnancies will help you talk openly with your sexual partner(s) and be in control of your sexual health.

What are your prevention options?

  • Condoms
  • PrEPand PEP
  • Get tested
  • Birth Control
  • Vaccinations
  • Masturbation
  • Grinding/dry humping
  • EPT

Condoms & other latex barriers. Condoms and other latex and polyurethane barriers are still some of the best ways to prevent the spread of STIs when you are having oral, vaginal, and/or anal sex, and for any skin-to-skin sexual contact.

PrEP. PrEP is a medication that works very well for preventing HIV and will ease your mind about having sex. Medicaid and most other insurance plans currently cover PrEP medication as well as routine STI testing. Help is available if you are uninsured or if a co-pay or deductible is too high. For more information about PrEP(pre-exposure), please visit PrEP(pre-exposure).

Regular Testing. Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have HIV or an STI and need to get treatment.

Treatment. Seeking quick effective treatment for you and your partner(s) is also prevention. Being treated for an STI stops reinfection and lessens your risk of getting other STIs and HIV. For more information on Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT), please visit Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT). If you are not able to tell your partner(s) they may need testing and treatment, ask your health care provider about partner services: a way to get partners tested and treated, without using your name. For more information on Partner services, please visit Partner Services. To find a health care provider, please visit NYSDOH AIDS Institute Provider Directory.

Vaccinations for HPV and Hepatitis B. There are vaccines that prevent some STIs. Ask your provider about HPV and Hepatitis B shots.

Birth Control. If you are having sex and are concerned about pregnancy, ask your health care provider about birth control options. It's important to know that most birth control methods do not prevent HIV or STIs. Condoms are the only form of birth control that also protects against pregnancy, HIV and other STIs. If you are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, keep in mind you can get an STI just like anyone else. Talk with your health care provider about getting tested during t your pregnancy and talk with your partner(s) about their status to make sure they are not passing any STIs to you. STIs can cause issues with your pregnancy and can have serious health effects on your unborn baby, even months or years after your baby is born.

Masturbation. Touching yourself and others for sexual pleasure is a healthy part of sexuality. be sure to clean sex toys between use and use a new condom for any shared toy that is placed inside the body.